Just to recap, this section is based on the '08-'10 classes; Sophomores and Freshman and those who will be enrolling shortly. Based on some of the comments, I feel the need to point out that this isn't a criticism, though you might be able to build one if you look at the results. Obviously we can't get every guy we want or we'd just send out 25 offers a year, the point is like the title says, to look at the value of recruiting your own state. Again, players are listed with their position coming out of HS, recruiting year, star rating according to Rivals, current status, and who we beat to get him or who we lost him to. Current starters for their team are in bold. (Boo boo gets bold cause he opened the year starting).
Boubacar Cissoko CB '08 ****
- Soph./Started at the beginning of the year, working his way back
- Beat out PSU, Illinois, (Was also offered by Georgia, LSU,&Tennessee)
Dann O'Neill OL '08 ****
- Transferred to WMU
- Beat out FSU, UCLA, Nebraska, Purdue
Mike Martin DT '08 ****
- Soph./Starting NT
- Beat out Notre Dame
Kenny Demens LB '08 ****
- Soph./Special Teams Player
- Beat out most of the Big Ten + WVU, Nebraska
Rocko Khoury OL '08 ***
- RS FR./Backup Center
- Beat out All in state schools
William Campbell DT '09 *****
- Freshman Backup on the DL
- Beat out Alabama, Florida, LSU, Miami
Cameron Gordon WR '09 ****
- Freshman Switched to LB
- Beat out Iowa, Minnesota, MSU didn't offer
Teric Jones RB '09 ***
- Freshman moved to Corner. Very Raw
- Beat out...well no one. Hard to call that a recruiting battle.
Nick Perry DE '08 ****
- Starting DE for USC; A sack monster
- Signed w/USC over Michigan, Michigan State, Miami (FL)
Jonas Gray RB '08 ****
- Backup RB for Notre Dame; Has impressed in spot duty
- Signed w/ ND over Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska (We offered late in process)
Fred Smith WR '08 ****
- Backup WR for MSU as Soph.
- Signed w/MSU over Michigan (Dantonio's first big recruiting win over Michigan)
Tyler Hoover DE '08 ***
- RS Fr./Backs up Trevor Anderson
- Signed w/MSU over Michigan, Miami (FL), Wisconsin, Purdue
Deon'tae Pannell OL '08 ***
- Soph./Has started for PSU and already has an NFLdraftscout.com profile
- Signed w/PSU over Michigan, MSU, Purdue, Wisconsin
Edwin Baker RB '09 ****
- Freshman/Gotten a few carries this year
- Signed w/MSU over Michigan, Texas(!), Florida(!), Georgia, Tennessee
Chris Norman LB '09 ****
- Freshman/Probably Redshirt
- Signed w/MSU over Michigan, Penn State, Stanford, Big Ten schools
James Jackson WR '09 ****
- Freshman enrolled early in Spring at OSU; would be at M if not for coaching change
- Signed w/OSU over Michigan, Florida, UCLA, MSU, Miami (FL)
Larry Caper RB '09 ****
- Freshman carrying decent load for MSU; Scored GW TD against us.
- Signed w/ MSU over Michigan, Iowa, Cincinnati, Stanford, Purdue
Dion Sims TE '09 ****
- Getting PT at TE as Freshman; Trying to play basketball too?
- Signed w/MSU over Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, Iowa, Purdue
Mark Ingram RB '08 ****
- Starting RB as Soph. for Alabama; Generated Heisman talk after recent perf.
- Rivals doesn't list offer from us. Some say he would've gone to State anyway
Keshawn Martin WR '08 ***
- Starting Slot Receiver/Punt Returner for MSU as Soph.
- We didn't offer (Understandable given our depth in this class: Odoms, T-Rob, Roundtree)
Jeremy Gainer OLB '09 ****
- Freshman/Probable redshirt for MSU;
- Rivals doesn't list an offer from us (why did we not?) These are guys we need to get.
Recruiting Battles: 5/10
Should-Haves: 1 (Mark Ingram RB)
Rich Rodriguez's first class shortly after taking over and Dantonio's first full class. The Dantonio effect is noticable as State pulls in 11 of the top 26 players in the state and also wins a couple head-to-head battles with Michigan. This will unfortunately be a trend in the next two years. Nick Perry was a HUGE loss, and I don't know what happened with Ingram. Perhaps he was long gone by the time RR came, but not quite sure why the previous staff wasn't in on the guy.
Recruiting Battles: 3/8
Should-Haves: 1 (Jeremy Gainer LB)
Recruited well nationally this year, but once again MSU takes home 11 of the top 25. Dantonio goes head-to-head with us and gets 4 guys and loses none that he wants. How are we sitting here complaining about lack of LB depth, and an in-state 4-star (Gainer) goes unoffered? Kinda confusing if you ask me. At this point we have Odoms, Grady, Roundtree, Robinson, Gallon, T. Jones, Brown, Minor, Shaw, Smith, Touissant, Cox at RB/SR respectively, but only Mouton, Ezeh, Brown, Fitzgerald, Demens and a bunch of True freshman 3-star converted safeties to back up. To be fair, we did have Taylor Hall and Marcus Witherspoon both go elsewhere or we might be solid. But facts are facts people.
'10 - Since the classes haven't signed yet, I'll list these guys shortly.
Devin Gardner QB '10 **** - Solid on M
Austin White RB '10 *** - Solid on M
Ricardo Miller WR '10 *** - Solid on M
Jeremy Jackson WR '10 *** - Coach's kid, Going to M
William Gholston DE '10 **** - Going to MSU
C.J. Olaniyan DE '10 **** - Going to PSU
Mylan Hicks DB '10 *** - Going to MSU
Max Bullough LB '10 **** - Why did we not offer? Probably State lock from the get-go.
Earnest Thomas DB '10 **** - Going to UCLA, we have no depth here, why no offer?
Johnathan Hankins DT '10 *** - Offers from OSU, Oklahoma, but not MSU or M? I think we need this guy
Still On The Board:
Dior Mathis CB '10 **** - Considering Oregon, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami (FL)
So basically what we've seen since Dantonio's taken over is an extreme focus on getting in-state talent. He's picked up 22 guys in the last two classes, but to be fair about half of those guys Michigan would never offer. Has it paid off for him? So far yes as Larry Caper was a guy we wanted, didn't get, and he scored the game winning TD on us. We'll have a better vantage point as these last two classes grow up, but as I said in the last post, when you get a guy from your own backyard not only is he on your sideline, he's not on the other one either.
Dantonio's had some success in head-to-head matchups with us, but I don't think that means we can't get more guys in-state. It's obvious that we don't have the same philosophy he does and I think he probably uses that as a pitch.
Here's my conclusion: '07&'09 were years the state was pretty deep in talent, and we struck out on most of those guys. There were 18 in-state recruiting battles in those years and we only won 7. 4 guys we won were 4-star and up, 3 were 3-stars. Here's the key: every player we lost was 4-star or higher, and we're not including '08 guys Nick Perry or Mark Ingram.
Keep in mind that '07 was Lloyds last year so that may have had a lot to do with the multitude of guys leaving the state. Also, transitioning head-coaches is a difficult thing, there's our 3-9 debacle, and a total offensive system change to keep in mind that would leave some kids out of the picture as bad fits.
We've always been able to recruit nationally, and we should always continue. We should get the best players possible for our team. But, there is something to what Dantonio is doing over there at MSU. Also, not to say Rich Rodriguez doesn't recruit Michigan, he does. The point is not to single out a coaching staff, but to demonstrate that us as a program have not been stellar in recent years at getting kids from our own backyard. It hurt us in the MSU game, and I think could be factor in years to come, especially in that rivalry game.
END NOTE: In '03 & '04, each year produced 7 in-state 4-stars. In '03 we got 4/7, none-went to MSU, and we didn't offer 2. In '04 we got 4/7 again with MSU picking up 2 and ND getting 1. We didn't offer any of the guys we didn't get. So from '03-'05 we went 4/5, 4/4, and 3/3 with in-state 4-star guys. That's 11/12 '03-'05. In '06-'09 we were just 9/24!!!